I’ve written and spoken a number of times about direct view LED starting to become a core design consideration – as in do we do the main lobby wall in granite, tile or LED – for the people who design and fit out buildings, stores and other venues.
Now we’re seeing the first tangible signs of direct view LED as a building material – in this case glass windows embedded with teeny LED lights. There are already technologies on the market that overlay a window with a separate LED mesh, and films that have embedded LEDs that could adhere to glass. But this solution is LED IN the glass.
The NYC digital media solutions provider ANC has started co-marketing with a Korean manufacturer a media solution fitted in the kinds of window panels that get put in commercial buildings.
Says the PR:
GLAAM Media Glass is the world’s first and only ICT LED glass building material and is now available to U.S. clients for design, integration and operation through a new partnership with leading experience design and execution company ANC.
The fully transparent, LED embedded, construction-grade material, created with 24 global patents, revolutionizes the media architecture market.
Imagine using your smartphone to control an interactive art piece on the façade of a New York high rise, or stepping outside your LA office after a day’s work to watch Game 7 of the NBA Finals with the whole building turned into the screen. With the new GLAAM Media Glass, produced by GLAAM America and integrated by ANC, clear glass facades can be transformed into a wonderland of opportunity.
“GLAAM Media Glass infuses a limitless digital world into the transparent skin of architecture,” says Casey Chang, GLAAM America CEO. “Through our partnership with ANC, we now offer a turnkey supply, integration and control solution for U.S. clients looking to be the forefront of media façade technology.”
GLAAM America manufactures the innovative architectural element based on each individual project’s needs and ANC will design, distribute, integrate and provide ongoing operation and service of the product for U.S.-based installations of projects like retail developments, sports venues, transportation and directional signage.
The company behind all this is G-SMATT, which has been around for several years and is based outside of Seoul, which is saying something, as Seoul sprawls like you wouldn’t believe.
The product is already installed, says GLAAM, in more than 250 buildings throughout Asia.
“As a creator of iconic and beautiful digital media installations, we are thrilled to be GLAAM’s U.S. partner to help bring this first-of-its-kind product to our market,” says George Linardos, ANC CEO. “For our clients looking to transform their buildings and spaces into landmarks with inspiring visuals and interactive content, this new offering can help turn a standard façade into an infinite digital story.”
GLAAM Media Glass is unique in that it eliminates the compromise of design and building value from obstructed views and blocked natural light from LED screens, bars, mesh and attachments. The embedded micro-LED technology, weatherproofed and protected from the elements, creates a seamless connection between the physical and digital experience. It requires far less maintenance and repair than previous LED offerings, is priced at a similar capital investment and is estimated to provide 100,000 hours of full brightness over its lifetime, thus creating a total lower cost of ownership.
The new product is 100 percent design-built and specified to meet rigid glass performance, durability, energy and aesthetic design requirements. It can be retrofitted to the interior or exterior of an existing façade, or as the primary façade material itself, integrating with market-leading curtain wall systems.
Whereas conventional LED displays create dark spaces behind them, GLAAM Media Glass allows building owners to utilize an entire floor area in the building by creating habitable interior space all the way to the façade. And because it serves as regular glass during the day and a dazzling display at night, GLAAM Media Glass also consumes less power than standard LED displays.
“Our product creates unprecedented value by offering fully transparent architectural glass with built-in LED video display and interactive capabilities” adds Chang. “It is now possible for large- or small-scale architectural glass applications to create new revenue streams, transform facades into digital public art, broadcast real time events, interact with motion or sound, and even connect to smart phones and tablets for experiential activities.”
The material doesn’t go into – or I just can’t find – information on the pixel pitch, but it looks like 10 mm or greater, so it is the sort of thing you want to view from a distance and not what you would use to convey fine detail and text.
There are numerous LED mesh companies on the market – most notably Nexnovo and ClearLED – offering product that attaches to building facades. They can look terrific from the street side, but as noted many times here, they also tend to look like hell from the inside … like a cage.
The general idea of curtain wall glass being able to operate as media facades when the sun goes down is very interesting. It also has applications for interesting things like these mass transport shelters.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.